159 Enmore Road
Enmore, NSW 2042
There’s feel-good food, and then there’s the likes of Colombo Social. Not only is it a place to get a rather fine Sri Lankan feast, it is also (and perhaps more importantly) a social enterprise that supports asylum seekers in need with meals, training, and employment. The restaurant itself offers an intriguing blend between the traditional and the nouveau, along with a highly popular selection of cocktails, in a snazzy environment that is nevertheless bustling and warm. The food, admittedly, does not punch as hard as the acclaimed Lankan Filling Station, but you know what else about it doesn’t punch as hard? The bill.
Rating: 13/20 – feel-good feeds.
Must-order: pan rolls. and make sure to chase whatever you get with a good selection of sambols.
The Pan Rolls ($18) are straight-up snacky goodness. Reminiscent of cross between a chiko roll and a samosa, the golden pastry is filled with a slow-cooked curry of goat and potatoes, with a side of spicy curried tomato sauce for dipping. It is just marvellous with a cold drink.
I’ve heard great things about Amma’s Dahl ($12), and it is indeed an unusually rich and creamy rendition, perfect for mixing through with some Turmeric Rice ($6), or scooped onto String Hoppers ($4). Don’t forget to mix and match with some sambol!
The Goat Curry ($21) was unfortunately a bit of a let-down. Though fiery, it didn’t have the complexity of flavour I had hoped for, and the meat erred too close to tough for comfort.
Whatever you order, a selection of sambols is a must. Grab the Mixed Sambol Plate ($12) and either choose your own selection of five, or get the staff to help you out if you’re unsure. The classic Pol Sambol however is non-negotiable, its combination of grated coconut and dried Maldives fish lending a summery, festive note to everything it’s sprinkled on. The Date and Lime Pickle is also a winner, its jammy sweetness contrasting with a sharp twist of citrus.
There’s a dedicated cocktail menu, but if you ask me, skip all of that and go right to the Falooda ($10) – a delightfully frothy and pink concoction of rose syrup, milk, and vanilla.